Cash Game Strategy at 15BB

MrickMrick Red Chipper Posts: 8 ✭✭
I just saw a video that said if you find yourself at 15BB, you will be playing a short stack strategy. If you don't rebuy, you are waiting on premium hands. When you get one, you might play a little more trappy. So say one gets AA late. I would bet that had aggressively. What about playing limping and playing trappy?
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Comments

  • MrFussMrFuss Red Chipper Posts: 138 ✭✭
    edited August 10
    Instead of coming up with some short stack strategy it's better to have good bankroll management and never play a game you can't stay topped off at.

    If you're playing in these short situations you're never going to succeed without good BR management so an attempt at these situations is pointless.

    It would be completely different in a MTT and worth discussing. But IMO playing short in cash is just bad and theres no point in wasting time trying to learn a strategy.
  • jeffncjeffnc Red Chipper Posts: 4,778 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Mrick wrote: »
    I just saw a video that said if you find yourself at 15BB, you will be playing a short stack strategy.

    Well that's true, if you have 15BB you definitely have a short stack, lol I think typically short stack is defined starting at around 40BB.

    There are various places you can find short stack strategies, for example Ed Miller's book Getting Started in Holdem. (Ed defines a short stack as 25BB or less). If you already know how to play then a lot of the book will be redundant to you, but then it's only $15, or $10 Kindle, or used on Amazon for less than that, so.....
  • MrFussMrFuss Red Chipper Posts: 138 ✭✭
    edited August 10
    jeffnc wrote: »
    For one thing, you have no control over your opponents' stack sizes. If you are playing against a 20BB stack, then you are playing 20BB effective stacks.
    Agreed however this was not OPs question. He is specifically asking how to play WITH a short stack, not against one.
    Mrick wrote: »
    I just saw a video that said if you find yourself at 15BB, you will be playing a short stack strategy. If you don't rebuy, you are waiting on premium hands. When you get one, you might play a little more trappy. So say one gets AA late. I would bet that had aggressively. What about playing limping and playing trappy?
    __
    jeffnc wrote: »
    Then there are other reasons. Blaming someone for poor bankroll management as a reason for playing a short stack is rather judgemental. There could be many reasons you don't have much cash or don't want to play much cash. In those cases, you should know a short stack strategy.
    Why else would you be playing a short stack? I think its universally known that playing w/ 100bb is much more profitable than playing short. If you can't afford to keep playing at 100bb then you shouldnt be playing that game. The ONLY reason you would be playing short is if you dont have a bankroll. And playing without a bankroll is a fundemental flaw for anyone wanting to succeed playing poker.
    __
    jeffnc wrote: »
    Ignoring short stack play is a mistake for serious poker players.
    Again I agree but I dont think playing a short stack in a cash game is a viable strategy when you're much better off learning to play good @ 100bb with a bankroll for long term success.
    MrFuss wrote: »
    It would be completely different in a MTT and worth discussing. But IMO playing short in cash is just bad and theres no point in wasting time trying to learn a strategy.

  • jeffncjeffnc Red Chipper Posts: 4,778 ✭✭✭✭✭
    MrFuss wrote: »
    Agreed however this was not OPs question. He is specifically asking how to play WITH a short stack, not against one.

    And you said "theres no point in wasting time trying to learn a strategy".
    Mrick wrote: »
    I think its universally known that playing w/ 100bb is much more profitable than playing short.

    As I just showed with my previous example, that is not necessarily true.

  • MrFussMrFuss Red Chipper Posts: 138 ✭✭
    edited August 10
    I dont think theres any point trying to learn a strategy playing WITH a short stack IN CASH GAMES. Playing against a short stack is a completely different topic and not what OP is asking.
    --
    Mrick wrote: »
    As I just showed with my previous example, that is not necessarily true.
    jeffnc wrote: »
    It could be that the deep stack players at the table are very good (better than you), and the short stack players are weak. Playing a good short stack strategy is the best way to go here, as you take away many of the advantages of the best players. Hell you might even play a better short stack than the good deep stack players. Actually I know a number of players who are very dangerous and difficult to play against when they have a deep stack, but they are lost to the basic math and play bad with a short stack.

    This breaks two of the biggest fundemental strategies when learning to succeed playing poker.
    1. Playing within your bankroll
    2. Game selection (Mostly playing games you can beat)
    jeffnc wrote: »
    It could be that the deep stack players at the table are very good (better than you), and the short stack players are weak. Playing a good short stack strategy is the best way to go here, as you take away many of the advantages of the best players.

    Im sorry but this is just ridiculous. So you're going to choose to sit down at a table with players who are known to be better than you in a game you cant afford with a small stack?

    Bad idea but ok lets go with it. What happens if you chip up? Do you just stand up and leave? Or do you now play deeper stacked against better players in a game you cant afford?

    The "best way to go here" is to play a game you can afford against players you stand a chance to beat.

  • jeffncjeffnc Red Chipper Posts: 4,778 ✭✭✭✭✭
    MrFuss wrote: »
    Im sorry but this is just ridiculous. So you're going to choose to sit down at a table with players who are known to be better than you in a game you cant afford with a small stack?

    You're not trying very hard.

  • MrFussMrFuss Red Chipper Posts: 138 ✭✭
    Again, I do not recommend playing short stacked in a cash game in any scenario. But if OP really wants to learn this skill then here are some resources.

    https://redchippoker.com/short-stacked-poker-podcast/

    https://splitsuit.com/understanding-midstacking-by-peterpjames

    thepokerbank.com/strategy/general/short-stack/

    Are SHORT Stacked Poker Games Worth Playing?

    This video is for playing against short stacks
    Crushing Short Stack Poker Players (0bb-20bb) | SplitSuit
  • Wiki_LeaksWiki_Leaks Red Chipper Posts: 564 ✭✭✭
    Stop watching poker training vidoes Teaching a 15bb strategy in a cash game.

    Stop playing cash games with 15bb.

    Stop limping in cash games unless someone blind raises out of turn behind you and you have aces.

  • TheGameKatTheGameKat Posts: 2,500 -
    edited August 10
    Couple of observations...

    Playing as the short stack and playing against a short stack require a pretty similar strategy. The difference is that a good short stacker has two built-in advantages. 1. They invariably understand the strategy better; 2. In any pot 3-handed or more in which they are the only short stack, they have an irrefutable mathematical edge. Hostility towards short stackers from players who know what they're talking about invariably reflects the fact they understand this point.


    The primary arguments against short stacking cash games are that it's dull (you have to play really tight) and that if you are motivated enough to learn the strategy you could also learn how to play deep. Since short stacking tends to cap win-rate, this suggests it's sub-optimal for a dedicated student of the game. Additionally it's hard to pull off live due to rules against rat-holing.

    It's also worth noting that in one of the largest poker markets in the world, one is compelled to short stack at entry-level limits.


    Post Black Friday I know of several SNG specialists who short stacked live cash. They have on average survived better than others adopting more usual strategies,

    To the OPs question, I wouldn't recommend trapping simply because most players screw up so spectacularly against a short stacker who is using correct strategy. In a squeeze-happy game you might flat a raise with a monster in the same way you might in a tournament, but I think it's less effective in a cash game simply because squeezes are rarer.
    Moderation In Moderation
  • MrickMrick Red Chipper Posts: 8 ✭✭
    edited August 11
    TheGameKat wrote: »

    To the OPs question, I wouldn't recommend trapping simply because most players screw up so spectacularly against a short stacker who is using correct strategy. In a squeeze-happy game you might flat a raise with a monster in the same way you might in a tournament, but I think it's less effective in a cash game simply because squeezes are rarer.

    Hi Game Kat,

    Many thanks. That seems right to me. I was just surprised when I heard this piece of advice. I think I prefer yours to Hellmuth's.

    Hi Mr Fuss:

    Clarification. I am not buying in short. It is really hard to do that these days. I am buying in medium stacked - 50BB. However at some point one finds themselves short.

    Bankroll management is not my issue. I can stand the variance. I just am not a very good poker player so I want to simplify my game and see if I can squeeze out an edge. I am within a year of retirement and I would like to have a couple of things I could play with positive EV. So I am going to give this a try.

    Many thanks for the links. Really enjoyed the Miller/Hull discussion and it is responsible for some of the questions I am raising.

    JeffNC,

    I appreciate your help. I have actually played the Ed Miller way many years ago. At that time it was 20BB / 25BB. I stretched it to 33BB and did OK. My current thinking is to play a MSS between 30BB and 75BB. Play a SSS between 15BB and 30BB. And exit the table at 15BB or less. I would much appreciate your thoughts on that stratification. I could be persuaded to an alternative strategy.

    To everyone,

    I very much appreciate your help. There has always been a camaraderie between advantage players. If anyone has additional thoughts on other games for advantage play or pointers to fine tuning my current NL approach, I very much appreciate it. I would love to hear thoughts either here or by PM.

    Very best cards to everyone.

    Mrick
  • jeffncjeffnc Red Chipper Posts: 4,778 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Mrick wrote: »
    My current thinking is to play a MSS between 30BB and 75BB. Play a SSS between 15BB and 30BB.

    I personally find the 50-75BB zone specifically to be kind of a no mans land - everything works out awkwardly mathematically. Then again, maybe nowadays solvers can figure this out.
    Mrick wrote: »
    If anyone has additional thoughts on other games for advantage play

    If you mean card games, then Omaha is the next obvious step. Short stack Omaha is possible, but it mostly revolves around waiting for AAxx. Rolf Slotboom wrote an entire book basically on this strategy. Personally I prefer Omaha hi/lo, although it doesn't lend itself as well to shortstacking, except again if you can wait for aces they still perform well all in preflop heads up. The variance in hi/lo is going to be less than in Omaha hi normally.
  • MrickMrick Red Chipper Posts: 8 ✭✭
    edited August 11
    Thanks for the Omaha suggestion. I will followup on that. Right now I am playing against bots for NL. It's the only way I can practice. Later I will delve into Omaha. Brief reading shows it is definitely a different game. That's going to be harder to practice - no bots for that. Appreciate the Slotboom book heads up.

    I looked at the poker rooms in LV and it seems like it is pot limit Omaha for the most part. Did not see high low. Is that what you meant?

    As to what advantage games, other card games are fine but really any area of gaming. I understand those things are not usually discussed on a public board. Hope to build some personal relationships in the future. Happy to meet up with folks in the North Texas area.
  • jeffncjeffnc Red Chipper Posts: 4,778 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Well there is always Blackjack and card counting, but they've made that very difficult to exploit the small advantage - asking you not to play in Las Vegas if you change your bets when the deck is good, and only dealing halfway through a 6 deck shoe in Atlantic City, last I checked.

    Regular Omaha is PLO, Omaha hi/lo is PLO/8, and usually Big O is 5 card Omaha hi/lo, although sometimes it's played hi only.
  • U_TurnU_Turn Las VegasRed Chipper Posts: 44 ✭✭
    Mrick wrote: »
    ...

    I looked at the poker rooms in LV and it seems like it is pot limit Omaha for the most part. Did not see high low. Is that what you meant?

    ...

    The Orleans regularly spreads 4/8 and 8/16 limit Omaha hi/lo.
  • Doug HullDoug Hull RCP Coach Posts: 1,790 -
    The misunderstanding of short-stackers is endemic and is a bad stereotype based on the fact that the vast majority of short-stackers are playing a short-stack as a financial and emotional consideration not a strategic one.

    That said, as Kat mentioned, short-stackers have an undeniable
    (but often misunderstood or underutilized) mathematical edge.

    Kat also correctly assesses that being the short-stack and playing against a short-stack are nearly identical. If you are the deep stack and a short stack is already in the pot, you have no excuse. You absolutely must consider the short-stack implications of joining the pot. If you are a deep stack with a short-stack behind you that may or may not enter, it really depends on many other factors.

    Recently I sat $2-$5 at the Venetian and a young Euro with all the trappings of an up and coming actual pro sat directly to my left with a short stack. The fact that he sold me two black chips from his pocket (so I did not need to wait for a chip runner) confirmed to me that he was a "strategic short-stacker." (henceforth known as an SSS) He had the money to buy deep, but he chose not to.

    Believe me, I was not pleased with his seat choice. He could make my life miserable. Thankfully he only took advantage of his situation a few times and made some mistakes such that we pushed. Had he been better he would have really crippled my session. I was impressed enough with him that I actually pulled him aside and discussed his choice to short stack and sold him _My First Poker Book_

    https://www.amazon.com/Your-First-Poker-Book-strategy/dp/1093324171

    Anyways, a deep-stacker should know how a SSS is playing against them. You come in on the button with :7S: :8S: after the pot was opened on the CO by a SSS, then you have already lost.

    A mid-stacker should know how an SSS plays for the same reason, but also because one straddle happens and now you are a SSS for a hand, or you should be.

    A disclaimer: When people read me discuss this SSS edge, they assume
    • I am a short-stacker
    • I think short stacking is the most profitable
    • I advocate short-stacking as a end-state for your game

    The above are all untrue.

    What I do advocate is
    • Understand SSS as one of the many skills in your toolbox
    • New players start with this because it is a concrete, actionable strategy that gives them time at the table to learn while safely wrapped up in the mathematical advantage of a SSS.
    • Utilize a SSS strategy when straddles, opposing short-stacks, blind-raises, etc turn you into a SSS for a hand.
    Co-founder Red Chip Poker,
    Author Poker Plays You Can Use
    Author Poker Workbook for Math Geeks
  • Doug HullDoug Hull RCP Coach Posts: 1,790 -
    edited August 12
    MrFuss wrote: »
    Why else would you be playing a short stack? I think its universally known that playing w/ 100bb is much more profitable than playing short.

    This is completely untrue. The implicit assumption is that the player is skilled at both stack sizes.

    I train lots of newbies. Newbie like the first 40 minutes are discussing the mechanics of the game and what beats what.

    When they listen, I can get rank newbies to ride out a short stack and be neutral-ish to positive in their first sessions.

    Give a new player three $100 bullets and a one and a half hour class, they can have a great time, and get the poker bug. Hell, some of them even win.

    Give a new player one $300 bullet and as much instruction as you want, they will end up broke, confused and hate poker.

    Can a skilled deep-stacker make more that a skilled short-stacker? Honestly, I think that is up for debate. I don't play short, so that is how I vote for myself. I would be very open to the idea that it might be the other direction.

    Ask yourself: "Why did the on-line sites raise the minimum buys at a table?" You must come to the conclusion that it was to protect the eco-system from these sharks piranha.

    Thankfully, in practice, live players are almost always terrible short stackers.
    Co-founder Red Chip Poker,
    Author Poker Plays You Can Use
    Author Poker Workbook for Math Geeks
  • Jordan PowerJordan Power Red Chipper Posts: 499 ✭✭✭
    Doug Hull wrote: »
    Thankfully, in practice, live players are almost always terrible short stackers.

    Thank goodness, indeed. I was reading part of this thread yesterday as I desperately awaited a seat change with TWO 20 BB stacks on my immediate left. They had so many changes to make my life miserable and at no point elected to do so.
  • MrFussMrFuss Red Chipper Posts: 138 ✭✭
    edited August 13
    Doug Hull wrote: »
    The misunderstanding of short-stackers is endemic and is a bad stereotype based on the fact that the vast majority of short-stackers are playing a short-stack as a financial and emotional consideration not a strategic one.
    I stand corrected. I believed playing short stacked in a cash game was never a more profitable strategy than playing 100bb deep. Mostly because in the hundreds (possibly thousands) of strategy videos I've watched the coaches and instructers have made these types of assumtions about short stack players, discounted their skill level and played against them according to these assumptions. Many times with additional commentary about how you should "never play short stacked" or "always stay topped off".
    Doug Hull wrote: »
    Give a new player three $100 bullets and a one and a half hour class, they can have a great time, and get the poker bug. Hell, some of them even win.

    Give a new player one $300 bullet and as much instruction as you want, they will end up broke, confused and hate poker.
    Thanks Doug. This makes a lot of sense.
  • jeffncjeffnc Red Chipper Posts: 4,778 ✭✭✭✭✭
    MrFuss wrote: »
    Many times with additional commentary about how you should "never play short stacked" or "always stay topped off".

    If someone said they always played short stacked and never learned a deep stack strategy, I'd be making the exact same argument in favor of learning a deep stack strategy as well. You can't be a complete player without learning that either. And as you mentioned, let's say you quadrupled up someday without any losses in between, now you're playing a mid stack at least, if not deep stack, so if you're playing live rather than online, you have to play that stack now. And of course if you feel you have an advantage over the other players at the table with 200BB, then you want to max the advantage by keeping it at that level.

    Sometimes what I'll do if I lose a big hand when in early position, I'll wait til the button hits me before I rebuy. If you were allowed to play a small stack in EP and a big stack in mid-late positions, that might be the ideal strategy depending on the table. Unless of course there are players so bad that you want to have the max no matter what your positional disadvantage is.

  • Doug HullDoug Hull RCP Coach Posts: 1,790 -
    This is the best that this SSS has gone. Well done all.

    I am totally adopting the "short early, deep late explanation.
    Co-founder Red Chip Poker,
    Author Poker Plays You Can Use
    Author Poker Workbook for Math Geeks
  • jeffncjeffnc Red Chipper Posts: 4,778 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I was reminded of another reason last night. While not as common in casinos, in many local games straddles, especially button straddles, are very common. Often there is no cap on these. I've seen a lot of $10 straddles in $1/2 or $1/3 games, and sometimes gamblers and drinkers put in $25-100 straddles here, especially when the game gets deeper. Or in a $5-5 or $5-10 game, especially the Omaha variants, straddles are often $25-50. So that automatically puts the entire table in short stack mode whether you like it or not. Some people will be in 5-10BB mode at this point, with lots of people in 20-50BB mode. Even in casinos, any straddle at all will immediately cut all stacks in half depth-wise.
  • MrickMrick Red Chipper Posts: 8 ✭✭
    jeffnc wrote: »
    ... So that automatically puts the entire table in short stack mode whether you like it or not. Some people will be in 5-10BB mode at this point, with lots of people in 20-50BB mode. Even in casinos, any straddle at all will immediately cut all stacks in half depth-wise.

    At the Flamingo UTG and Button may straddle. That lowers the stacks by half. So if a person bought in for 50BB. Lost a bit and is down to 30BB. Then that would put one in push/fold territory. Can a player bring push/shove strategy cards to the table and then check them during play.
  • TheGameKatTheGameKat Posts: 2,500 -
    Mrick wrote: »
    jeffnc wrote: »
    ... So that automatically puts the entire table in short stack mode whether you like it or not. Some people will be in 5-10BB mode at this point, with lots of people in 20-50BB mode. Even in casinos, any straddle at all will immediately cut all stacks in half depth-wise.

    At the Flamingo UTG and Button may straddle. That lowers the stacks by half. So if a person bought in for 50BB. Lost a bit and is down to 30BB. Then that would put one in push/fold territory. Can a player bring push/shove strategy cards to the table and then check them during play.

    Provided they're not electronic you're not breaking any laws in Vegas, but it may paint a target on your back. That said, your likely opposition will be carrying pea-shooters.
    Moderation In Moderation
  • jeffncjeffnc Red Chipper Posts: 4,778 ✭✭✭✭✭
    TheGameKat wrote: »
    Mrick wrote: »
    Can a player bring push/shove strategy cards to the table and then check them during play.

    Provided they're not electronic you're not breaking any laws in Vegas, but it may paint a target on your back.

    Better to check stuff like that on your phone. Hell, you could be reading a whole book on poker on your iPhone Kindle and no one would ever know.

  • TheGameKatTheGameKat Posts: 2,500 -
    jeffnc wrote: »
    TheGameKat wrote: »
    Mrick wrote: »
    Can a player bring push/shove strategy cards to the table and then check them during play.

    Provided they're not electronic you're not breaking any laws in Vegas, but it may paint a target on your back.

    Better to check stuff like that on your phone. Hell, you could be reading a whole book on poker on your iPhone Kindle and no one would ever know.

    The phone is more discrete, but in Nevada technically illegal.
    Moderation In Moderation
  • MrickMrick Red Chipper Posts: 8 ✭✭
    TheGameKat wrote: »

    The phone is more discrete, but in Nevada technically illegal.

    That's a good point. Electronic device.
  • RedRed Red Chipper Posts: 2,150 ✭✭✭✭
    jeffnc wrote: »
    I was reminded of another reason last night. While not as common in casinos, in many local games straddles, especially button straddles, are very common. Often there is no cap on these. I've seen a lot of $10 straddles in $1/2 or $1/3 games, and sometimes gamblers and drinkers put in $25-100 straddles here, especially when the game gets deeper. Or in a $5-5 or $5-10 game, especially the Omaha variants, straddles are often $25-50. So that automatically puts the entire table in short stack mode whether you like it or not. Some people will be in 5-10BB mode at this point, with lots of people in 20-50BB mode. Even in casinos, any straddle at all will immediately cut all stacks in half depth-wise.

    Yes but no. Many players don't understand a straddle halves (at least) the stacks. They just see it as a bigger limp to see a flop - a way to bloat the pot in case they hit instead of the casual small limped pot. And they won't adapt their strategy/gameplay because of the straddle - mostly they see a bet as a X$ bet, not a Xbb bet.

    So yes, you're are right in a vacuum. But you're wrong because most of players won't see and play it that way
  • TheGameKatTheGameKat Posts: 2,500 -
    Red wrote: »
    jeffnc wrote: »
    I was reminded of another reason last night. While not as common in casinos, in many local games straddles, especially button straddles, are very common. Often there is no cap on these. I've seen a lot of $10 straddles in $1/2 or $1/3 games, and sometimes gamblers and drinkers put in $25-100 straddles here, especially when the game gets deeper. Or in a $5-5 or $5-10 game, especially the Omaha variants, straddles are often $25-50. So that automatically puts the entire table in short stack mode whether you like it or not. Some people will be in 5-10BB mode at this point, with lots of people in 20-50BB mode. Even in casinos, any straddle at all will immediately cut all stacks in half depth-wise.

    Yes but no. Many players don't understand a straddle halves (at least) the stacks. They just see it as a bigger limp to see a flop - a way to bloat the pot in case they hit instead of the casual small limped pot. And they won't adapt their strategy/gameplay because of the straddle - mostly they see a bet as a X$ bet, not a Xbb bet.

    So yes, you're are right in a vacuum. But you're wrong because most of players won't see and play it that way

    Not sure I follow you here, Red. I'd agree most players won't adjust correctly, but doesn't that just mean more pizza for us?
    Moderation In Moderation
  • jeffncjeffnc Red Chipper Posts: 4,778 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited August 16
    TheGameKat wrote: »
    The phone is more discrete, but in Nevada technically illegal.

    Oh you mean while in a hand - right. I was thinking about reading about poker in general, not looking up during your particular hand.

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